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Friday, October 23, 2015

Anxiety and the Lucky Bounce

My brother is a sleep tech, just like I am in my normal life.

In the sleep lab we get all sorts of people from all walks of life.  My brother, fifteen states away, stumbled onto an editor.  Not just any editor, though, one who has worked on NYT bestsellers.  And he convinced this person to take a look at my writing.

Happiness ensued, followed immediately by nervousness.  All I have to show is the first few chapters of the rough draft of my novel.  It's a first draft and therefore is supposed to suck, but what if it sucks sucks?  I've been working on this for the last four years, and as any writer knows, that first moment showing it to someone outside your circle, well, it makes your sphincter pucker.

This person is busy, and the feedback won't be coming for quite some time, but she has already been invaluable.  First she gave me some advice -- don't publish your first three novels.  Write them, shelve them, return to them after you've written some more and polished your craft.  It was great advice, I just wish I'd heard it ten years ago.  My first two attempts at novel writing are already published.  Might as well steer into the skid.

The Fab 5, available on Amazon
Second, she asked me to critically think about what went wrong on my first two efforts.  That was hard, admitting my own mistakes.  The Fab 5 was a good concept undone by a touch of arrogance.  I didn't listen to anybody who said anything negative about it.  I didn't hire an editor and thought I could do it myself.  I used the f-word A LOT. I didn't understand what it took to self-publish and was shocked about how much I had to do myself.  It was a rude awakening.

The Favorite, also available on Amazon












The Favorite took some of the lessons I learned and applied the knowledge.  I started with writing a stronger story, hired an editor, and tried my best to shamelessly self-promote.  The problem is I wasn't very good at the last part.  Also, sports novels are a tough sell to people who aren't sports fans.  But hey, there were less f's given.  (bad pun, sorry.)

 I'm nervous as to what this person will say about my current work.  It's like sending your four year-old to preschool for the first time.  But hey, the kid may prove to be a genius.

Or at least, worth selling.

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